Ping Pong Serving Rules
The official ping pong serving rules may seem unfamiliar to those of us who grew up playing with street rules. Cheating and taunting were more normal than courtesy or good sportsmanship. That wicked little serve you pull off by spinning the ball an inch off your hand before you whack it over the net is not exactly legal.
- The stance. The official ping pong (or table tennis) serving rules state that the server must stand behind his side of the table. The server may not try to hide the ball with either his body or clothing. Sounds funny but some people still enjoy wearing ridiculously baggy clothes and these could be used to conceal an illegal serve. The player stands there with the ball resting openly in his palm for all to see.
- The toss. The ping pong ball is then tossed up into the air without the player imparting any spin. The ping pong serving rules state the ball must travel upwards a minimal distance of 16 cm (or about half a foot if you are an American) before the player can begin his serve.
- The serve. After the ball reaches it's zenith and begin to fall downwards, the player may then serve. The serving rules in ping pong dictate the ball must first hit the server's side of the table, travel cleanly over the net and land within the boundaries of the opposing player's side.
- Let versus fault. The official ping pong serving rules say that if the ping pong ball touches the net it is considered a 'let' and the serve is taken over again. The official ping pong serving rules states the player just looses the point.